Including some fun party games at your next celebration can really make it come alive. Great games get everybody up and involved in the party, they help set the theme for your event, and they are super ice breakers! Here are some of our favorite party game ideas, as well as links to some other great party game sites.
Also, don’t forget about traditional games. If your event is outside, consider horseshoes, volleyball, a pinata, bocce, corn hole, or kick the can. If it is inside, try Twister, have a card night, or even host a board game party. There are lots of great options. Have fun!
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Fun Party Games for Kids
Animal Tail Tag — Give each child a “tail” made from a sock, a piece of fabric, or a long strip of construction paper. Have them stick these into the back of the waistband of their pants to look like a tail. The goal of this game is to grab the other players’ tails without losing your own. The last animal with a tail is the winner.
Balloon Burst Game — Tie a balloon to each child’s leg near the ankle (2 per child). Then have them run around and try to burst each others’ balloons without theirs getting popped. The last one with an unpopped balloon wins!
Balloon Squish Relay —Divide the children into two even teams. The object of this game is to have the children run a relay while having a balloon squished between their leg and a partner’s leg. If the balloon drops, they must stop and reset it. You can make this as easy or as challenging as you wish. A simple race would be to have the teams go from one end of the hall and back. You could make it more challenging by putting obstacles for them to step over, things to pick up along the way, or even having them go up and down the steps. Now that requires teamwork!
Blob — Have your guests spread out in the play area. Choose one child to be “it” (the blob).The blob tries to tag the other players. As each player gets tagged, they hold hands with whoever tagged them and become part of the blob. The game continues until there is only one child left who hasn’t been tagged. This child then gets to be the starting blob person for the next game.
Brick Pass Relay — Cover an assortment of boxes with tin foil (about 5 or 6 per team). Divide your guests into two teams. Have each team stand shoulder to shoulder for a passing relay. The object of the game is for the children to pass the boxes one at a time along their team and have the last person in line stack the boxes into a tower. The team who gets all their “bricks” passed and stacked into a standing tower first wins.
Bug Bites — Issue each child with a strip of stickers and then it’s each bug for himself! The aim of the game is to ‘bite’ someone by placing a sticker on their back without them noticing. At the end of the game the person with the least stickers is declared the champion bug, but the person with the most stickers on their back gets to keep them!
Catch the Dragon’s Tail — Have the group stand in a single file line, with each person holding the waist of the person in front of him. The player at the head of the line tries to catch the player at the “tail” of the line. Once the head tags the tail, the “head” person becomes the new “tail” person and everyone moves up one space in line. Play until everyone has had a chance to be the dragon head!
Crab Soccer — Have the children get into their crab positions (belly up on their hands and feet) and play a game of crab soccer by using only their feet. (This works best with a lightweight ball.)
Ducky, Ducky, Where is Your Egg? — Cut a Large paper egg. The players form a circle with one child in the middle as “The Ducky.” The Ducky covers her eyes while another player in the circle is selected to sit on the egg. Then the children sing…”Ducky, Ducky, where is your egg? Somebody stole it from your home!” The Ducky then has three guesses to find the child who is sitting on it. That child then becomes the new ducky in the middle.
Egg Roll Relay — In this relay race, each person takes a turn rolling an egg with a spoon to from one end of the race course to the other and back. To play this game, divide your group into teams. Give the first person on each team a spoon and a hard boiled egg. The person hands the spoon to the next person in line and the relay continues until a team finishes.
Elephant Race — Divide your guests into two relay teams. Put half of each team on one end of your race course and the other half on the other. Have your first elephant race to her teammate. She should put her arm between her legs to make a trunk. The teammate should stand behind her and grab the end of her trunk. Together these two elephants should then race back to their next teammate, who should grab the second player’s trunk to form an elephant chain of three. Keep going until all teammates are conneted. The team who has all its members back to the starting line (without ever breaking their chain) is the winner.
Flashlight Tag — When it gets dark, give each child a flashlight and split them into two teams. The aim of the game is to tag as many players as possible from the opposing team by shining a light at them. Once caught, they are taken to base and need to be watched over by a chosen guard. However, they can be rescued by their teammates, so the guard needs to be on the lookout with his flashlight. If the guard spots the rescuers, they too are put in the base camp.
Flying Saucers — Give each party guest a frisbee (these also make good party favors). Set up an obstacle course (preferably outside) where the children get points for hitting or coming close to marked targets with their flying saucer. For example, you might put a picture of a planet taped to a tree, or put our a hula hoop on the ground and see how close each guest can come to hitting the landing pad.
Another flying saucer idea is to divide your guests into two groups and arrange them in similar patterns from a starting point to and ending point. Then have a relay race to see which group can pass their saucer from child to child to get to the end first.
Four Corners— For this game, designate each corner of a room as 1, 2, 3, and 4. Choose one child to be “it”. This child covers his eyes and counts to ten. During this time the rest of the children quietly move to pick one corner to stand in. Without looking, the “it” child should call out a number. The children standing in that corner are out. Play continues until there is only one child left. (**Note- when there are only four players left, they should each stand in their own corner). The winning child can become “it” in the next game.
Indoor Goal Shooting – A fun party game that can be played indoors. You will need a couple of balloons and a box, or laundry basket. Place the box/basket at the far end of the room and have your guests stand approximately 10-15 feet away from the box. They have to try and kick the balloon into the box. Give each guest five tries to make a goal. Each goal made is worth one point. The person with the most points wins.
Leap and Duck — To play this game, line up the players in a single file. Have the person at the back of the line alternately leapfrog over the person in front of him, then go through the legs of the child in front of that person, until he reaches the front and becomes the first person in line. All the people in line will have to alternately squat and stand. Then the new person at the back of the line repeats the process. When this gets going faster and faster, things can get pretty silly. You could either time each player’s performance, or divide the group into two teams and play this game as a relay race.
Monkey in the Middle — Have your guests get into a large circle. Choose one child to be the monkey in the middle of the circle. The children in the circle should try to pass a ball (foam if you are inside) across the circle to those on the other side without the monkey getting it. If the monkey intercepts the ball the person who threw the ball becomes the new monkey in the middle.
Monkey See, Monkey Do — Gather your group in a large circle. Choose one child to be “it”. That person leaves the room. Out of the remaining group, silently elect one person to be the lead monkey. Call the “it person” back to sit or stand in the center of the circle. The lead monkey should start a gesture, such as scratching his head or snapping his fingers. All the other monkeys should then imitate this gesture as quickly as possible, trying not to give away their leader’s identity. After a bit, the lead monkey should change to a new gesture, giving the “it person” a few chances to watch the group during their changes. The “it person” gets three tries to identify the lead monkey. Win or lose, the lead monkey becomes “it” for the next round.
Moving Marshmallows -– (You will need two bowls, 1 bag of mini marshmallows, 1 spoon, and 1 blindfold). Fill one bowl with the mini marshmallow. Blindfold 1 player and hand them a spoon. Have the blindfolded player see how many marshmallows they can move from the full bowl to the empty one (set up somewhere near, but not right next to the full bowl). Then have the next player go. After each player, count how many marshmallows have been successfully moved from one bowl to the other, and then subtract the number of spilled marshmallows from the total. The player with the highest total wins!
Musical Chairs — Play this traditional game by lining up chairs back to back in a row (put out one less chair than there are party guests. Play some music and have everyone slowly walk around the chairs. When the music stops, everyone should try to sit in a seat. Whoever does not get a chair is out and can play the music for the next turn. Remove one chair, restart the music, and repeat the game. Play until there is one child left.
Oh, Waiter! Relay Race -– (You will need one tray and one plastic glass). In this relay, the children have to balance a tray or cookie sheet with 1 full glass of water on it “waiter style”. Split the group into two teams and have them carry the tray back and forth. The team with the fullest glass at the end of the relay wins!
Red Light, Green Light — Make a starting line and a finish line at least 15-20 feet away. Choose a child to be “it” and have him stand on the finish line. Line up everyone else on the starting line. “It” should turn around so he can’t see the group, and shout, “Green Light”. (Everyone moves toward the finish line). “It” can stop and freeze the group by shouting, “Red Light” and turning around. If “it” catches anyone moving, they have to go back to the starting line. The first player to reach the finish line and tag “it” is the “it” person in the next game.
Red Rover–This is an old school favorite where the group is divided into two teams that form lines directly across from each other. Each team holds hands and decides who to call over. Then they say, “Red Rover Red Rover, send ________ over”. Whoever they call has to come running over and try to break through the other team’s clasped hands. If they fail, they have to join the other team. If they succeed, they go back to their own team and they can choose one player from the other team to come to their side. Whichever team lasts the longest wins.
Sardines — This is a game of reverse hide and seek. Select one child to be “it”. Have that child find a good hiding spot while everyone else counts to 100. Then have everyone go look for the “it” child. As they find him, they should hide along with “it”. Slowly the party guests will disapear. The last child still looking will be “it” in the next game.
Soccer Bowling – Set up field cones on the grass or pavement. Line the cones up in two rows: two in the front and three cones in the back. Have your soccer birthday party guests kick the ball and knock down as many cones as they can. Give one point for each cone knocked down. The player with the most points wins. As a variation, divide the kids into two teams. Players from each team take turns knocking down the cones. Have the point system in place, which will give teams some friendly competition.
Telephone— Gather the group in a circle for a game of telephone. Start by whispering a tongue twister in one child’s ear and have them pass the message around. See if it can get back to the first child the same as it started!
Water Balloon Toss— Line the players up in two lines facing a partner. Give one partner a water balloon. The object of the game is to toss the balloon from one partner to the other without letting it drop. After each round, the players should take one step back. When a team’s balloon breaks (due to a missed catch or a tight grab) they are out.The last team left wins! (** This game can also be played with eggs.)
What Animal am I? — Write the names of different jungle animals on index cards and tape a card to each child’s back (without them seeing what animal they are). Have them go around to the other party guests and ask yes or no questions to try and figure out what animal they are.
“What Time Is It, Mr. Fox?” — The object of this party game is for someone to get close enough to the fox to tag him before midnight, when the fox can turn around and tag everyone else! To play, first choose one person to be the fox. He or she stands at one end of the room faced toward the wall with his eyes closed. Everyone else should line up next to each other at the other end of the room or game area. These players take turns asking, “What time is it, Mr. Fox?” The fox should reply with a time. If he says, “three o’clock,” the players can each take three quiet steps closer to the fox. This proces is repeated as the group gets closer and closer to the fox, trying to tag him before he realizes how close they are. The fox, however, can turn the tide of the game. If he senses that the group is getting close, when asked what time it is, he can reply, “Midnight!” turn around, and try to tag someone before they make it back to the starting line. If you get tagged or tag the fox you become the fox in the next round of the game.
Wheelbarrow Obstacle Course Race — Set up an obstacle course using traffic cones and other building materials. Have players on two teams race one at a time through the course with wheelbarrows, picking up one block or covered shoebox at the end, racing back with it in their wheelbarrow, and passing the wheelbarrow to the next player without dropping any blocks (the wheelbarrow will get fuller and fuller as the race progresses). The winner of the race is the first team to pick up all of their blocks and bring them back to their starting point in a full wheelbarrow.
Fun Party Games for Teens and Adults
Egg Toss — To play, Have each person choose a partner and line up directly across from each other. Give each team one (raw) egg. At the count of three, the player with the egg should gently toss it to their partner. If the catch is successful and the egg doesn’t break, both partners take one large step back. If the egg breaks, that pair is out. On the count of three, the egg gets tossed again. Continue this process until there is only one set of partners left holding an unbroken egg.
Famous Names — Give each guest a sticker on her back with the name of a famous person. Every player will go around the room and ask yes or no questions to figure out the name of the famous person on her back.
Honey, Do You Love Me? — Have your group sit around in a circle. One player starts by saying, “Honey, if you love me would you please smile?” The next player responds by saying, “Honey, I love you, but I just can’t smile.” Eliminate each player who smiles until you are left with the winner.
Hula Hoop Relay – Split your guests into two teams and have them stand in a line, holding hands. Place a hoop in front of each line. When you say, “Go” the first person in line picks up the hoop without letting go of her teammate’s hand. Each person should then pass the hoop over her head and shoulders, step through, and pass it onto the arm of the next person in line without letting go of anyone’s hand. If at any time a team becomes disconnected, they must start over. The team that gets the hoop passed down the entire line and onto the ground behind the last teammate wins!
I Never — All players start out with a number of tokens and sit in a circle. One player starts by saying, “I never…” and tells about something he’s never done before, like go fishing. All the remaining players who have “gone fishing” must give up a token. The game continues clockwise, in a circle. Each player who runs out of tokens, leaves the game. The last player who still has tokens, wins.
Limbo Contest – Use some fun music and a pole or broom handle to have a limbo contest. Have two people hold the stick and lower it after each round to see how low everybody can go!
Monkey Knot — Have your group stand in a large circle. Have everyone reach out their right hand and grab the right hand of someone else (preferably not the person next to them). Now have everyone reach out their left hand and grab the left hand of someone new. Your group will be in a tangled monkey knot! Have them work together to untangle themselves without letting go of anyone’s hand.
Piggly Wiggly — (good for slumber parties for people of any age!) One person steps out of the room for two minutes while everyone else gets under blankets and into sleeping bags (preferably not their own). After two minutes are up, the person comes back in and gently taps each sleeping bag and asks the occupant to say something. The person replies in their strangest voice “piggly wiggly” or “oink oink” and the “it” person tries to identify who it is. If they guess right, the person comes out. If not, the person replies “no”, and “it” moves to the next sleeping bag and repeats the process. Once “it” has gone round everyone, he/she starts again and the last person left inside their sleeping bag or blanket wins.
Two Truths and a Lie — Learn a little more about your buddies by playing Two Truths and a Lie. In this game, each person takes a turn by stating two true (but little known) facts about themselves along with one lie. Then everyone has to go around and tell which of the three statements they think is false. After the lie is revealed, everyone who guessed right gets one point.
Links to Some Fun Party Games Websites:
Games For All Reasons — A collection of fun party games, from the playground to those forgotten jump rope songs, to ideas for your next adult party.
Toddler and Preschooler Party Games! – Find more ideas for fun party games to suit toddler and preschool aged children.